Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets, 5-12-2018 - Prediction & Preview

An Inside Look at Capturing the Vegas Golden Knights' Expansion Season

You just had to see it to believe it. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman's controversial faith in non-traditional hockey markets has been validated in the recent on- and off-ice success of Vegas and Nashville.

Anger - This is ridiculous.

The Golden Knights will be on a plane to either Nashville or Winnipeg on Friday morning, and from the sounds of it, they appear to nearly be looking forward to the road start. His shooting percentage is up past 20% and people think they'll keep winning?

Bargaining - Alright, so they are still leading the Pacific big deal.

The narrative right now should be how many GM's failed to understand their own rosters, not that they were swindled by the expansion draft.

Along they way, they had set basically any set record there was to be set as an expansion team in its first season. Marc Andre-Fleury is in a zone right now, and Vegas has played a very stingy defensive style all year long.

These teams combined for 231 points in the regular season, making this series the two best teams on points ever to meet in a series before a conference final.

Jonathan Marchessault opened the scoring, Nate Schmidt added an insurance goal that was only detectable by replay and Cody Eakin sealed it with an empty-netter to help Vegas become just the third team in National Hockey League history to win multiple series in its first season. I'm not putting anything past this storybook Golden Knights team.

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Now, with the National Hockey League Jets advancing to the Western Conference final - further than they have even been in the NHL - the frenzy has jumped another notch.

Asked about grabbing Jets centre Paul Stastny at the trade deadline, Cheveldayoff said he put his due diligence in and hasn't been surprised with how well it turned out. It's easily the most successful season by an expansion team in any pro sport.

"I'm sick and exhausted of people always talking about him". Even if the Jets do lose, the victor of this series will finally end the Golden Knights search for the elusive Holy Grail.

Vegas is used to rolling four lines and three pairs of defensemen. Linemates Jonathan Marchessault (75 points) and Reilly Smith (60 points) complete one of the best lines in the National Hockey League. "I don't want our guys in the penalty box, I don't want my top guys in the penalty box wrestling". His best moment came against the San Joe Sharks when he scored the overtime victor in Game 3 of the second round. So to come here, he's taken our team, I think you've seen what he's done. There are no more surprises.

Prediction: Washington in seven games. They were not a great road team during the course of the season, but they took three of four on the road in that series and outscored the Preds 15-4 in the three road wins. Now, led by the emergence of now-Vezina Trophy candidate Connor Hellebuyck, the Jets finally got the goaltending they needed to back up their high powered offense and became world beaters in no time.

"When you have games like (Thursday), you crawl out of bed, you're a little bit groggy, but you're excited", Wheeler said.

The Predators were the favorites on the Stanley Cup odds at the outset of the playoffs but have been consistently inconsistent as an away team, going 6-6 in their last 12 road games as the underdog. Smith proceeded to record 60 points in 67 games. "Sometimes like it feels like you're thinking too much about how much you should practise before the game, every morning, and being fine for games if I don't skate every day".

The conference finals are set, and there is now a 75% chance the 2017-18 National Hockey League season ends with a first-time Stanley Cup champion.

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